Home News New "less-lethal" attachment for guns to be used by Ferguson police

New "less-lethal" attachment for guns to be used by Ferguson police


According to the Washington Post, police officers in Ferguson, MO. will be trained to use a device created by Alternative Ballistics to incapacitate individuals through blunt force rather than lethal force. The device known as “the Alternative,” is an orange colored mechanism that is placed on the barrel of an ordinary handgun. Once a bullet is fired, it melds with an attached projectile roughly the size of a ping-pong ball and flies with enough force to knock someone down, but not kill them.

The discovery of this alternative to lethal force was discovered by Ferguson assistant police chief Al Eickhoff about after the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson. The 36 year veteran of Missouri police work said he was looking for something that could have prevented the deadly encounter between Brown and Wilson.

The Alternative has attracted both fans that praise the invention and critics who denounce it.

“It gives another option,” Eickhoff said of the device, which he later tested for himself. “I really liked it. .?.?. You are always looking to save a life, not take a life.” Another member of law enforcement, former Springfield, MO. police major and training expert Steve Ijames, says it “exposes police officers to greater risk.”

“I am all about less lethal,” he said. “What bothers me is we will allow an officer to face immediate deadly jeopardy with a less-lethal round. Deadly force is the most likely thing to repel deadly force.”

The chief executive of Alternative Ballistics, Christian Ellis, said he started the company near San Diego to perfect a device to stop needless citizen deaths such as the case with Brown and Wilson. Ellis likes to think of it as “an air bag for a bullet.”

However, the device only captures the first bullet, meaning that the next round chambered is a regular bullet. If the Alternative fails to stop its target, the next shot could be lethal.

The Alternative works by firing a bulbous metal alloy bullet-capture device that travels up to 250 feet per second and sends a “shock wave of pain through the suspect” once contact is made. As of now, the Ferguson police department is the only domestic police agency that is training with the Alternative. The units are $45 each. So far, the device has only been tested at gun ranges and no human being has been shot with it.

“Hopefully we can get it on the streets soon,” Eickhoff said. “Is it going to work every time? Probably not .?.?. it’s not a catch-all. Every situation is different. But it gives an officer, if time allows — and that’s important, if time allows — a chance to save a life instead of taking a life.”

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  1. I am sorry but this device will be a failure. Unless the suspect receives a fatal response, he is being allowed to kill a police officer. He has to be absolutely disabled and this is not the device to accomplish it.

  2. Deadly force is deadly force. Perhaps criminals should not use or attempt to use any type of force against a officer. Instead of limiting the officer how about we find ways to limit the criminal.

  3. If time allows? if time allowed the officer could have used a baton, OC or a tazor. something that could have prevented this is the UNgentle giant actually following the law and doing what he was told to do. Would it have killed him to sit down or answer some questions? No. Did it kill him to assualt an officer ? well duh.

  4. Its a step in the right direction. We should have technology and intelligent people to design a device that will incapacitate an assailant. I believe this is a worthwhile goal even if the proto has bugs. In electrical engineering and computer science first runs on devices never meet all goals and objectives but once you refine and tweak and review and discuss and redesign you can always make things work to spec. I would think criminals would prefer these devises as well just to lessen any charge in a worst case scenario.

    • I’m sorry but this responce is crap!!! Deadly force is deadly force why should we make life easier for people who would do us harm??? If you are trying to hurt/kill me i don’t have the right to use deadly force against you?? You and everyone else that is saying stuff like this really should STOP VICTIMIZING THE CRIMINALS!!!! They are the bad guys and us good guys have the right to MATCH FORCE with FORCE!!!!

    • Unfortunately, criminals do not think in the normal realm. They’re law breakers. They act out of greed and opportunity. They’re impulsive. When they pull a weapon, whether a ball bat or gun, they are implying their willingness to use deadly force. An officer should not be told to jeopardise his life so that the one trying to kill him can live. That officers ultimate goal it’s to return home to his family at end of shift.

  5. Wow….. Can’t believe what im reading. As a police officer im all for other alternatives than the use of deadly force, but we have those tools and training. To put a device on the end of your duty weapon, the very tool you use to defend your life, or lives of others, no way!!!! What im reading is this company made this device due to recent shootings. Now they want it installed on your duty weapon. This device should be in a test phase for a considerable time period, with different weapons, different departments. What’s next? Rubber padding on your ASP baton? I feel sorry for the Ferguson Police, they’re doing their job but their city and upper management are back peddling trying to fix or come up with an idea to protect the criminals thus allowing the criminals to assault or kill Police Officers or the public. We need to take back the streets, instill trust in the public, have deterrents, and everything will be fine, but if we allow criminals to dictate what we CAN’T do, and how we CAN’T do it, this will be an always never ending problem.

  6. in my opinion, a very poor idea. As a tewnty plus year firearms instructor a Range Master I would never want officers to utilize the same tool for less-lethal and lethal encounters. In the heat of the moment those decisions are hard enough to make when you have two (2) differnt tools (taser and firearm). This should never be utilized.


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